On This Day

13 March 1972: “Australian television lost its virginity” as Number 96 makes its debut on TEN10, Sydney with the first three episodes together as a movie-length premiere.

ATV0 Melbourne followed the next night, TVQ0 Brisbane the following Monday, and SAS10 Adelaide in April.

The series became hugely popular, topping the ratings in 1973 and 74, winning a string of Logie Awards and turned the struggling 0-10 Network to making a profit. It also popularised soap opera or serial drama for commercial television.

Source: TV Week


Something I’ve wondered for a while now (sorry if this has been already brought up) - how exactly did the whole “night Aussie TV lost its virginity” term come into being to describe Number 96’s premiere? Was it coined at the time by 0-10, Crawfords or the press, or did it come about a few years later?

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It was the headline in TEN10’s newspaper ads on the day of the first episode. Though apparently some newspapers objected to the use of the word “virginity” and instead used the worse “innocence”.


The mystery is solved! Thanks @TelevisionAU


16 March 1986: SBS extends transmission to Hobart and Perth, completing the roll-out of the network to all the state capital cities.

Source: The Mercury


18 March 1974: The Seven Network debuts evening soapie, Class Of '74, the first drama series to come from producer Reg Grundy, who’d made most of his fortune from game shows. In some cities it debuts at 7.00pm, bumping the top-rating Great Temptation to the 8.30pm timeslot in an attempt to dethrone Number 96. The Great Temptation was axed by the end of the year, and Class Of '74 despite getting off to a strong ratings start, did not fare well when it continued as Class Of '75 the following year.

18 March 1985: The Seven Network launches its latest soap, Neighbours, also from Grundys. Not much has been heard of this show ever since :wink:

Source: The Advertiser

Source: The Courier Mail

Source: The Sun News-Pictorial


Good joke man.